DIY: Square cushion corners

Confession: I used to think that I was good at finishing projects. When my friends said “I have GOT to get some of my current projects dug out of my closet and finished before I start anything else,” I just smiled. Aww. Poor chicks.


Two years ago I moved to a fixer-upper and did my first paint project, and it all went downhill from there. I immediately became compelled to buy fabric for every known window in the universe and gained [overnight] about four hundred and eighty pounds [no I did NOT say pounds] DIY’s waiting to happen.

I even bought supplies for a couple hundred of them, give or take.

Which means now I gotta do ‘um. I’ve like committed myself.

So I sat down in January—a good time of year for turning over new turtles—[Isn’t that the phrase? Oh, new leaves? Well, leaves don’t bite and some of the stuff I turn over sure does; and then lays on its back waving its legs feebly in the air for two weeks before quietly expiring]—and made a list of my unfinished projects.

There were twenty.

I plan to nail them all. But it’s going to take me a little time.

As an incentive, I told myself that they’d make fun blog posts. So when they pop up that’s what’s happening: Shari is coaxing herself into action.

Today we offer DIY No. 1—How to Recover Ancient Futons. Because I KNOW you’ve got a couple of those on the back porch.

Well on second thought perhaps we could amend the tutorial. DIY No. 1—How to Sew Square Cushion Corners. Because that is a really cool trick and takes only five minutes and my excellent mother taught me how.

1. Sew an ordinary corner seam.

corner seam

2. Standing the corner upright, pull out on the fabric below to create a tent…

open like a tent

3. …And flatten it, so that the seam now runs down the middle of a triangle. Lay the seam allowance to one side.

flatten sideways

4. Measure the depth of your cushion form—in this case, four inches.

5. Using pins or chalk, mark a line four inches long, crossing the first seam at right angles. (Adjust as needed to cross your first seam precisely in the middle.)


6. Sew a straight seam along this line.


7. Invert.


See how pretty it is? Besides cushions, square corners are also useful on the bottoms of homemade bags or totes, just to give the project some depth.

honey hued wood

And since I know you’re curious about the futon [snort]… It went from this–

original futon

–to this. I’m very happy. I intended to paint the frame, but when I started sanding I fell in love with the rich honey tones in the wood. Mmm. Cuppa tea, anyone?

finished futon

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Brenda Troyer
9 years ago


9 years ago

You need to hang out with me if you think you have lots of unfinished projects. 🙂 I finished a dress for myself today that I had started almost a year ago.

I love making those corners. Your futon is pretty! I love the old wood!

9 years ago
Reply to  Wendy

I would *love* to hang out with you. Come see me this summer.

I had no idea you had this chalkboard/sewing business thing going on. Wow–adorable!!

9 years ago
Reply to  Shari

I am trying to get Travis convinced he “needs” to go to teacher’s week this summer.

Just a fledgling of a business; more of a hobby, but a great creative outlet.

9 years ago

love it!

Travis Z
9 years ago

I figured out why you seem to push these projects off. You appear to only have thumbs.

9 years ago

Lovely! Love it when those DIY projects actually turn out like I pictured them! 🙂

Loretta Musser
9 years ago

Now that is quite a charming piece!

9 years ago

I love the new turtle phrase and will surely be using it. 🙂
Your futon is beautiful. What a lovely addition to your bedroom!!!!

9 years ago

I think it is awesome. But your DIY would only make sense if I SAW It done. I’m just that dense. Someday…teach me how. That is, when I have a futon to cover! 😉

9 years ago

“Turn over new turtles” (snorting)

I’ve never heard such a perfect description of my New Year’s Resolutions.

9 years ago

Pretty! That wood has some beautiful patina.

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